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The Vampire Chronicles #2

The Vampire Lestat

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Lestat. The vampire hero of Anne Rice's enthralling new novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination. Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying existence. His is a mesmerizing story --- passionate, complex, and thrilling.

481 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1985

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About the author

Anne Rice

442 books24.5k followers
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) was a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematic focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.

Anne Rice passed on December 11, 2021 due to complications from a stroke. She was eighty years old at the time of her death.

She uses the pseudonym Anne Rampling for adult-themed fiction (i.e., erotica) and A.N. Roquelaure for fiction featuring sexually explicit sado-masochism.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,710 reviews
Profile Image for Eddie.
182 reviews59 followers
July 13, 2010
This is one of those books that defined me. I don't mean that I turned goth or vampire or whatever. No... it started me thinking.

I was born and raised in the South. I didn't read anything else other than fantasy novels (like Dragonlance). I joined the Marines in 89 and while watching a movie about a teenage vampire it was mentioned that Dracula is 'good literature'. I went to the base library to check out Dracula and beside it on the shelf was this book. I took this one instead.

The book was great. I loved it. The book engendered a question within me that never found any sunlight growing up a protestant in the Deep South. That queston, can something evil love? The values of the Southern protestant is one of black and white and there is no mixing, no grey, no overlap. By witnessing the drama of Lestat's journey, this manifestation of the Shadow declaring it's evil and it's good... I questioned this myself.

It is a slippery slope to question everything. With no reading, history, or even exposure to any philosophy (Arkansas public school after all) I now asked questions about ethics, the nature of God, what is beauty, morality, and more. I had become a philosopher (though not a good one).

Now, 17 years later I've been around the world many times, am nearing the completion of two degrees (psychology and philosophy) and am a much different, much broader, much more deepened soul. The questions I've asked, the roads I've taken, the experiences I've had, are all a result of my search for my own truth. A lot of that was set afire because of reading this book.

I know that many bemoan Anne's move from the supernatural and to Christian writings. It's her life and I respect that. Yet I am reminded of something Jung said, we do not become enlighted by imagining beings of light, but by making the darkness visible (I'm paraphrasing). Lestat might not be a being of light (that's another topic) but his darkness is illuminating.

This is one of my favorite books ever.
Profile Image for Christine (AR).
751 reviews28 followers
January 25, 2010
Dear Anne Rice:


Signed, All Fictional Vampires Who Are Not Lestat

This was a re-read for me, but in all honesty, I don't think I was ready for this book the first time I read it. Or at least, I didn't appreciate it for the sheer masterpiece of storytelling that it is, and it's not just the mood and the world and the mythology and the fast-moving plot -- more than anything, it's the characters.

Lestat, of course, Rice's 'brat prince', arrogant and compassionate and impossible, all at the same time -- he'd be enough to carry any book, imo, but the secondary characters are just as layered and bewitching, probably because we see them through Lestat's eyes. Nicki and his endless internal darkness; Armand, who manages to be both tragic and terrifying; Gabrielle, who seems like a force of nature; and even Louis, the whiny, unreliable narrator from Interview comes off as beautiful and mysterious, the star-crossed love of Lestat's afterlife. I swooned through the last chapter.

I didn't care for the places Rice took this series after Queen of the Damned, but for me, Lestat continues to define the vampire-as-anti-hero genre. No other blood-sucker comes close.

Profile Image for Gabrielle.
996 reviews1,129 followers
January 31, 2023
"And after all, I had never been very good at obeying rules."

Update after re-read in 2023, and comments linked to the AMC tv series.

I am unrepentantly #teamlestat always and forever. I just adore Lestat de Lioncourt. He’s the coolest vampire ever, and probably one of the most amazing, charismatic and contrary anti-hero characters in horror and fantasy literature. I have always had a soft spot for him, and after losing my mind over the recent television adaptation of “Interview with a Vampire”, I decided to revisit the first three books of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and now just wrapped up what must be my fourth or fifth reading of the treasure that is “The Vampire Lestat”. This time, I absolutely pictured him as Sam Reid, who plays him masterfully on the new tv show, and I could hear his lovely voice narrate the text. I can safely say that he is the ultimate Lestat.

I know, I know. He can be really, really awful, and Louis’ narrative really paints him into a horrible abuser and psychopath. But I think that the genius of “The Vampire Lestat” is to flip the reader’s perspective on him and the events described in “Interview”. This was something that really drove me crazy watching the brilliant show with Sam Reid and Jacob Anderson: the show is a vivid portrait of a toxic and abusive marriage, and you occasionally get a glimpse under Lestat’s armor, which hints at an ocean of damage Louis is completely unaware of (Reid is amazing at those brief moments when Lestat shows vulnerability, especially in contrast to the casual cruelty he uses as a defense mechanism the rest of the time). While never condoning his truly appalling behavior, knowing that Lestat was himself the victim of horrible abuse, suffered repeated abandonment from the people he loved and endured unspeakable trauma… well, it excuses nothing, but it certainly explains some of his behavior and attitudes. So if you finished the first book (or the first season of the show) wondering how could Lestat be such a massive douche to Louis and Claudia, this book has the answers!

The scope of “The Vampire Lestat” is huge: it covers Lestat’s life before he was made into a vampire, what happened to him in Paris, his meeting the mysterious Marius, listening to his story and learning where vampires come from, his revisiting of the events detailed in “Interview with the Vampire” and what he plans to do next (rock out with his fangs out!). And holy shit, is it one hell of a roller coaster ride! I have mentioned before how much I love when Rice writes immersive historical sections, and I get more than my money’s worth in this book: both Lestat and Marius’ backstories are amazing deep dives into fantastic historical settings (pre-revolution Paris, imperial Rome, Gaul and Egypt) and I just lapped it all up happily. Marius is probably my favorite of Rice’s vampires – after the Brat Prince, of course - and these long sections about his life as a scholar and traveller were so wonderful. I also have a soft spot for Gabrielle de Lioncourt (and not just because she and I have the same first name and we would both rather read than do pretty much anything else): she is a woman who was too smart and too strong for the time and place where she was born, and while I believe that she did adore her son, I cannot begrudge her the urge to seize her freedom and run.

I am also a big fan of Egyptian history and mythology, and that Rice chose to have her vampires originate from that specific time and place is stupidly exciting to me. The story of Akasha and Enkil (which is explored even more deeply in “The Queen of the Damned”) is fascinating and chilling. But I didn’t even have to get that far to get hooked all over again: just a few pages in, and I was already mesmerized, like a little bird being hypnotized by a cobra before it strikes. I don’t find vampires sexy (they are dead, finding them sexy implies necrophilia, good luck changing my mind on that) but Lestat would have had me wrapped around his pinky in seconds.

There is also a deep philosophical element in "The Vampire Lestat": one of the main events that defines him as a mortal is a realization of the meaninglessness of existence and the feeling that he struggled with after that realization, and how, in a very existentialist way, it lead him to love life even more in its meaninglessness, to treasure beauty even more, and to love those he cared for with renewed intensity. His dialogue with Marius, and how Marius points out that they are both from a time that rejected superstition and how that makes them particularly well-suited for immortality is fascinating.

Re-reading the book made me so excited for future seasons of the tv series, because I cannot wait to see Sam Reid’s Lestat interact with Nicolas, Armand, Marius and Gabrielle… and I dearly hope we get to see him serenade Akasha.

As I was reading it, I was listening to the album "The Death of Peace of Mind" by the band Bad Omens almost on repeat; it's sort of how I expect Lestat's music would sound like. It's metal, but it's also really sexy, and the lyrics about longing for love, loss of faith and inner turmoil suit the character beautifully.


Original review from a few years ago:

I was raised by an unapologetic bookworm with rather eclectic tastes and whether its nature or nurture, I eventually turned into one of those myself. During my formative years, if I dared to say I was bored to my mother, she would simply throw a book at me and say “Read. You won’t be bored anymore”. It was very good advice, that I keep to this day: you will never catch me without a book in my purse! But the thing about my mother is that most of her library was not children/teenager appropriate, and she does not believe in censorship… so I read an awful lot of very adult books very young. I think that I picked up my first Anne Rice when I was about nine years old.

I have read many vampires stories since – some really good and some really bad – and Lestat remains to this day my all-time favorite vampire.

Granted, there was a lot of stuff I missed when I read “The Vampire Lestat” the first time because, well, I was nine. But rereading it as an adult made me appreciate it so much more. First off, the amount of historical research that went into creating this book is staggering. Say what you will about Anne Rice as a person (she sounds rather insufferable) but the woman does her homework and weaves an amazing, complex and intricate story that bounces through the Âge des Lumières France, Roman Empire Egypt, colonial era New Orelans and modern day California. I am a sucker for history, so when a historical setting is as vivid as Ms. Rice makes them, I find myself utterly fascinated.

Of course, the character of Lestat is what truly makes this book wonderful: he’s a brat, with an greedy curiosity and a devil-may-care attitude that he takes a bit too literally (“If I was a damned thing, then let the son of a bitch come for me!”)… This was my first encounter with a villain who is not really a villain because he’s a bad person and it might just be where my weakness for bad guys comes from! The things about Lestat is that while he can be an absolute monster, he’s also a tortured being who wrestles with a strangely twisted conscience, strong feelings and an insatiable need to be loved. When you read “Interview with the Vampire”, he seems like a selfish, pompous jerk; but his background, so wonderfully detailed in “Vampire Lestat” shows him for what he used to be as a mortal and how the sorrows of his younger days are still a burden he carries within him and tries his best to camouflage by acting like a rock star – ages before such a thing even existed. He is a complex hero/villain, who throws it all in your face with charm and panache – and that is just irresistible.

I am glad to see I am not the only one who like this book better than “Interview”: Louis is super whiny and kind of a drama queen, as where Lestat just rocks. The supporting characters are really well fleshed out: the relationship with his mother Gabrielle is wonderful, if somewhat disturbing. The introduction of Marius, who is my second favorite of the Rice vampires, is also a huge plus! His story is fascinating and his voice is just as delightful as Lestat’s, albeit less bratty. And of course, he tells us the massively awesome story of “Those Who Must Be Kept”! This sort of elaborate mythology that blends history with supernatural elements never ceases to fascinate me, and it is beautifully told.

I find that the writing also as a sensuality (for lack of a better word – I don’t think it’s erotic, but it’s definitely lush with feels) that “Interview” lacked. There is darkness, but also a humour and poetry to the language that makes it very unique and sumptuous. The philosophical musings about immortality, religion, love and art were a bit nebulous to me when I was young; it made the re-read very fresh because I understood the motivations and struggles of the characters a lot more, adding a new depth to the story.

To me, Anne Rice remains a guilty pleasure kind of read, but if you have never read any of her books before I’d recommend “Vampire Lestat” as a good place to start!
Profile Image for Overhaul.
268 reviews603 followers
January 10, 2023
Segunda entrega de las «Crónicas Vampíricas» en la que descubrimos la vida del enigmático y carismático Lestat. Uno de mis personajes de ficción preferidos.

Inmortal y sediento de sangre humana, Lestat ansía descubrir el secreto de su inmortalidad. Eso le llevará a recorrer un variado espectro de lugares y entornos sociales que hace de la suya una apasionante biografía.

Desde el lascivo París del siglo XVIII hasta la Roma de Augusto y la Bretaña de los druidas; desde el Egipto satánico de la prehistoria hasta el mundo frenético de las estrellas del rock... prácticamente toda la historia.

Soy el vampiro Lestat. Soy inmortal. Más o menos. La luz del sol, el calor prolongado de un fuego intenso..., tales cosas podrían acabar conmigo. Pero también podrían no hacerlo.

Cuando estoy sediento de sangre, mi aspecto produce verdadero horror: la piel contraída, las venas como sogas sobre los contornos de mis huesos... Pero ya no permito que tal cosa suceda, y el único indicio de que no soy humano son las uñas de los dedos...

"Entrevista con el vampiro", se narraba desde la perspectiva de Louis, un vampiro creado por Lestat que se aferraba desesperadamente a su humanidad. Libro que gustándome menos que este, recomiendo para asentar las bases.

Personalmente no son fan de Louis. Dramático, dentro de lo que vivió, claro, pero es muy soso el chaval, muy amargado. Lestat, por el contrario, brilla.

Esta es la historia de Lestat contada desde su perspectiva. He de decir que me ha gustado y muchísimo más que el anterior.

Lestat es un personaje exquisito, que atrapa, es embriagador seguir su vida, sus pensamientos y acciones.

Lestat es mostrado como el malo, que lo es, eso es cierto, en el primer libro, pero aquí podemos vislumbrar a Lestat cuando era humano y se convirtió en vampiro.

Ver más allá del monstruo aunque no podamos parar y nos guste.

Su historia es larga y recorre el mundo, incluso con una lección de historia. El escenario actual del libro es en la década de 1980 y me encantó su visión sobre el siglo XX, sobre la humanidad, el bien contra el mal, la vida y la muerte.

La narrativa de Anne Rice es hermosa, lírica y generosa en detalles. Es Lestat en sí mismo que nos habla. Embriagador. Un personaje que me encanta.

Lo tiene todo, desde personajes, los escenarios, la escritura y los mitos y leyendas. Abriendo el paso a las historias de otros personajes.

Lestat es digamos el dueño de su propia vida, claro, contempla si es malvado y tiende a elegir víctimas que son malas. Es apasionado, curioso, demasiado y se preocupa por muchas cosas.

Una historia que me fascinó, mucho, desde la primera página, interesante y emocionante.

Me cautivó la narración de Rice a través de Lestat, está tan bien conseguido que es como leer un diario perfecto.

Muestra una profundidad en la mitología que crea, en la historia de nuestro pasado, forma un equilibrio medido entre lo complejo y lo simple.

Una deliciosa lectura con personajes trabajados en los que ves el peso del tiempo y la historia y ahora da paso en su siguiente entrega a otro de sus personajes que me encanta, por la película, Akasha, la reina de los condenados.

Primer 5⭐️ del año, muy recomendable..✍️🎩
Profile Image for Tony Z .
102 reviews
May 28, 2017
¿Recuerdan a Lestat?

El vampiro “malo” de Entrevista con el vampiro

Pues él ha despertado de su letargo en el siglo XX, el maravilloso siglo XX con toda su modernidad, su moda, su televisión, su tecnología y su música, pero para sorpresa de Lestat se encuentra con un libro que narra parte de su existencia, contado por su compañero Louis, un libro que, según Lestat, está lleno de mezquindad y mentiras...

ahora es su turno, si Louis conto su versión ¿porque no Lestat? y Lestat lo hará mejor y más grande, no solo contara su biografía sino que se volverá una estrella de rock, le dirá adiós al anonimato y hola a la fama, y el mundo conocerá finalmente su verdadera historia…

Lestat nos contara su vida, desde los comienzos siendo un mortal, su relación con su familia, en especial su madre, su primer amor, sus sueños de teatro y su vida como actor, hasta el inevitable momento de su transformación, donde todo queda de cabeza.
—Éste es el único sol que volverás a ver siempre. Pero dispondrás de un milenio de noches para ver la luz como ningún mortal la ha visto nunca, para arrancar de las lejanas estrellas, como si fueras otro Prometeo, una iluminación eterna con la cual comprender todas las cosas.

Lo mejor de los libros de vampiros de Rice, es que en efecto son de vampiros, es decir son contados por los vampiros, y los protagonistas son los vampiros, en este caso tendremos a otros tres grandes vampiros en la historia, Gabrielle, Armand y Marius.

Gabrielle es hermosa y terrible, una vampira salvaje, un sueño freudiano que no siente nada de nostalgia por su vida mortal, y la compañera perfecta para Lestat. Armand es, a mi pensar el más diabólico de los vampiros, es malvado, pero lo peor de él es que nadie o casi nadie se le resiste, Armand te tiraría de la azotea de un edificio y caerías gritando lo mucho que lo amas y quieres estar con él, y por ultimo Marius, Marius es la leyenda viva, y a través de él conoceremos los orígenes de los vampiros, si "Entrevista con el vampiro" es filosófico, "Lestat el vampiro" es mitológico, ¿Cómo surgieron los primeros vampiros? ¿Qué papel han de cumplir en el mundo? ¿Qué deben hacer con la humanidad? ¿Los vampiros son buenos o son malos? ¿Cómo les afecta la religión? ¿O que tanto les afecta? La respuesta de esta última es mucho, pero no de la forma en que la mayoría pensaría.
nuestra raza era como la propia peste negra: una plaga sin explicación, destinada a hacer dudar al hombre, a hacerle dudar de la bondad y de la intervención divinas.

Lestat cambia tanto en este libro, que empezaras a dudar de la historia que había contado Louis, su personalidad, sus motivaciones, Lestat es un guerrero, un marginado, un soñador, un rebelde, bastante sensible, loco, y enamorado, y los amores de Lestat siempre son dramáticos, incluso antes de volverse vampiro, Lestat quizás no sea un pensador pero tiene sus propios debates internos sobre la bondad, y una búsqueda interminable de conocimiento...

Muy pocos seres buscan de verdad el conocimiento en este mundo. Mortales o inmortales, son escasos los que hacen preguntas. Al contrario, casi todos intentan extraer de lo desconocido las respuestas a las que ya han dado forma en sus propias mentes; justificaciones, confirmaciones, formas de consuelo sin las cuales serían incapaces de continuar adelante. Preguntar de verdad es abrir la puerta al torbellino. La respuesta puede aniquilar a la vez la pregunta y a quien la hace.

Como la vida misma, la historia cambia dependiendo de quién te la cuenta, y la versión de Lestat, vale la pena ser leída.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
488 reviews504 followers
June 3, 2020
Cuando leí el año pasado "Entrevista con el vampiro" quedé muy satisfecho y sorprendido. Me esperaba un libro de aventuras, y encontré un texto muy reflexivo, además de mucho más profundo de lo que me figuraba. Al acabarlo y hablar de él, todo el mundo me decía que era genial, pero que Lestat el vampiro era incluso mejor. No puedo estar más de acuerdo. Y es que creo que Lestat es la mezcla perfecta entre ese toque reflexivo filosófico que nos aportaba Louis en el primer libro, pero sumando varios ingredientes más como las aventuras que vive Lestat o la riqueza propia del mundo vampiril, ya que esto último tampoco fue muy explorado en la anterior historia.

En este segundo volumen nos vamos a encontrar con Lestat contándonos su historia desde su juventud, cuando aún era mortal. Me ha encantado ver esa Francia previa a la Revolución Francesa y el proceso hacia ella como telón de fondo. Allí Lestat vivirá junto a Nicolás, su primer amor. Por allí aparecerán otros personajes bastante importantes para la trama como Magnus, su creador o Gabrielle, su madre. También volveremos a encontrarnos a Armand, y veremos que relación le unía con Lestat antes de su encuentro con Louis en "Entrevista con el vampiro".

El caso es que uno de los grandes puntos fuertes de la novela es la mezcla de civilizaciones, ya que mientras Lestat va viajando por el mundo, ya sea por su propio pie, o través de las historias de otros, nos va describiendo estos lugares y nos habla de los vampiros que habitan allí. Grecia, Egipto, la antigua Roma... Una de mis partes favoritas es, claramente, estos viajes a diferentes lugares.

Los personajes me han encantado también, en especial Lestat (obviamente), Gabrielle o Marius. Y por supuesto, Akasha. Necesito ya leer "La reina de los condenados" y seguir descubriendo a ese personaje. También me ha gustado que mencionen a otros legendarios como Pandora o Ramsés, ya que la autora tiene libros dedicados a ambos. Siento que la historia está muy bien formada y todo perfectamente ligado.

No quiero contar más, porque todo lo que diga puede considerarse spoiler, pero la cuestión es que me ha encantado. No pensé que fuera posible, pero me ha gustado bastante más que el primero. He disfrutado volviendo a ver a mi Claudia, aunque fuera brevemente jajaja. Y, para colmo, ¡vaya final! Anne sabe como dejar con la miel en los labios. Lo dicho, necesito leer "La reina de los condenados" ya. ¡Larga vida a Anne Rice <3!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,662 followers
September 19, 2013
The Vampire Lestat is the second book in The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice. I adored the first book, Interview With A Vampire which was told in Louis' perspective, a vampire that Lestat made who clung desperately to his humanity. The Vampire Lestat is Lestat's story told in his perspective. Although I viewed Lestat as somewhat of a villian in the first book, the reader gets a glimpse of Lestat when he was human and first made vampire. His story is long and tours the globe, even with a history lesson of vampire history. The present-day setting of the book is in the 1980's and I loved Lestat's view on the 20th century, along with his view on humanity, good versus evil, life and death, and his fellow vampires. I was pleasantly surprised to see this side of Lestat. Anne Rice's writing remains beautiful, lyrical, and generous with detail. I plan to continue the series.

My favorite quote: “None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.” Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2)
Profile Image for Kelly.
264 reviews68 followers
October 18, 2022
It is my suggestion that, if you want to sample Anne Rice, and have never read any of her other works, this may be the book you want to read instead of her most famous novel, "Interview with a Vampire." let me explain.
"The Vampire Lestat" is quite a different novel from the first in the series, because we are dealing with an entirely different vampire than the depressed and vulnerable Louis from Rice's first book. Don't get me wrong, Lestat was the antagonist in Interview but towards the end of the novel you start to think maybe that's not the case. That single thought pushed me to read his story to find out why Lestat was the way he was.

I LOVED learning about where Lestat came from and also finding out about ALL of the ancient vampires, all the way back to the very FIRST vampire. In Lestat's story, the reader goes throughout the centuries, as he meets other vampire's who tell their tales. This book feels like a world tour that goes back to Ancient Egyptian times, to classical Rome, to pagan Europe, to the times of the French Revolution, to an old, decaying (slightly creepy I might add) Parisian cemetery and back up to the present time. It was FUN to follow Lestats journey to find the truth..the same truth that Louis was always searching for, but never found.

The entire story is fascinating and spans centuries as Lestat grows from a fledgling vampire into the emotional, lonely, angry, and finally carefree vampire he is upon setting foot on a San Francisco stage to perform his first rock concert in front of 15,000 screaming fans. (Yes, Lestat is a Rock star in the 1980's in this book! My first thought to that was, "Whatever!" But then it made sense.)

Lestat now gets a chance to tell his OWN story, and it makes us (the reader) realize that he has suffered even more than Louis and shows that he is not a villain; he is the tragic hero of sorts. He is actually far more aware than Louis, something else that Louis doesn't see either. He is a gentle, innocent, thoughtful young man who has suffered so much in his life, and then he is forced into becoming one of the living dead, who now must kill to survive. It is explained to us why Lestat is the way he is and why he does the things he does which is truly interesting.

When you read "Interview with a Vampire" you don't know then that Lestat is misunderstood by Louis, and therefore misunderstood by the reader, whom is seeing the story through Louis' eyes. The glimpses of Lestat we have in Interview with the Vampire, of his relationship with his father, of the way he acts, of his charm that Louis finds both attractive and repulsive, of his love of bright artificial light and his desire to live luxuriously, of his friendship with a young musician, of his doting upon Claudia and showering her with gifts, of his fear to lose Louis, of him emotionally distraught and pleading with Louis to come back to him in Paris (which I didn't understand at the time), and finally of the frail, broken, and pitiful shadow of a man he has become by the end of Louis's story, where Louis finds him again in New Orleans. All of these things are hints at the depth and complexity of the character of Lestat.

In The Vampire Lestat, you will finally see the entire picture, and see the masterpiece of a character that Lestat is. The depth and the multi-dimensionality, and the humanity of Lestat. If you liked Louis before, you will still like him. But you will like Lestat even more because you will see how completely misunderstood he is and learn the story of the pain and sorrow he kept hidden in his heart, hidden underneath that charming facade that Louis encountered on his plantation in 1791. You will start to understand HOW Lestat could act the way he did towards Louis and Claudia which was the answer to the questions I was seeking in this book so I closed the covers of this book satisfied.
Profile Image for Melissa.
70 reviews28 followers
September 7, 2015
Oh, how I love Anne Rice.
I actually started reading these books after I read Twilight. Yes, surprisingly, I went back to vampire fiction after that. Meyer is a good writer, but once you've met Anne's Vampires, you're never going back. Anyhow, this book was great. It still has the good kind of vampires: the ones that sleep in coffins, drink human blood and burn in the sunlight.


This second book in the series wasn't disappointing, although I feared it might be, after reading the amazing 'Interview With The Vampire'. It was also quite interesting, since I read this book after I'd seen the movie 'Queen of the Damned', which is based on this book and the next book.
The violin!! Turns out it didn't belong to a girl at all, but to Nicki, a boy. Damn you, untruthful modern cinema.

The characters in this book were brilliant, the story-line was good and the ending was awesome. I can't wait to read 'The Queen of the Damned'. I own all of the books in this series and it's about time that I finish them all. Warning: Addicting series!
Profile Image for Calista.
3,872 reviews31.2k followers
April 15, 2018
I loved these books in my 20s. Lestat had a great origin story and we explore that here. Anne takes us all the way up to Interview with the Vampire. Lestat is a crazy maker, he likes trouble. He did have a rough start as an immortal.

I loved the tone of Anne's books. They were so brooding and gothic and lush. She uses flowery language and I loved that then. Plus Lestat was Bisexual and he was one of the first characters I read that way. it was a big deal for the 80s and 90s as there weren't many characters outside the norm.

I still have a warm feeling when I think of these books. I haven't re-read them in a while so that might ruin it or it could bring me back to a more simple time in my life. I would like to read this series over someday.
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,350 reviews819 followers
March 20, 2013
The year is 1984, and Lestat is the famous lead singer of the group, The Vampire Lestat. He stumbles upon a simple little book, "Interview with the Vampire", starring Louis, his ersatz lover of sorts (because vampires don't exactly have lovers the same way humans do). So Lestat sets the record straight and tells the tale of his life as a vampire.

When people say this is better than Interview with the Vampire, they are not kidding. This book is light years better than "Interview". I almost wish this book never ended, it was so good. I already have book 3 lined up to read - and normally, I would give myself a break, just so I didn't burn out.

What makes "The Vampire Lestat" so good? Just about everything - from characters, to setting, to writing, to mythos. About the only thing I can critique is that at one point, not long after Gabrielle is turned and we meet Armand, the story kinda stalls and gets a bit dull. Oh, and when Marius is telling his story, I kinda got confused and thought we went back to Lestat's POV. But honestly, those are nitpicks - I enjoyed myself thoroughly with this book.

Lestat is a WAY better protagonist than Louis. He's not so whiny, so pathetic, so useless. He's a master of his own life - sure, he contemplates whether he is evil and tends to choose victims who are evil (those women Louis says Lestat seduces? They are prostitutes that cheat sailors and probably kill them). He is a passionate being - he cares enormously for Nikola and Louis (some of the sweetest interactions in the book) and his mother (though his love for her gets a bit creepy in the "I don't think we should be kissing our MOM this way"). He is a curious being - he searches all over the Mediterranean for Marius and the source of answers. He is a powerful being - his powers attract the attention of Armand and Marius and when others can't stand being a vampire, he is able to press on.

The rest of the cast is beautifully done as well. Gabrielle, Nikola, Marius, Armand, and even Louis all get dimension. They are real people, with real desires - Gabrielle to be set loose to live alone. Nikola to balance his "wicked" pursuit of the theater with his religious beliefs. And so on. And so forth.

The story was engaging and exciting. I was enthralled with the depths of the mythos, a perfect balance of complex and yet simple - not a list of rules sloppily tacked together when the author needs to add a new challenge to her characters, but actual rules that make sense in the world and seem to originate naturally from the circumstances. And the addition of Akasha and her brother - I can't tell you how deliciously creeped out I was! I loved it!

At this point, I'm just gushing. Honestly, I really loved this book and am SO GLAD I didn't give up on this series. If you like your vampires wicked and blood-thirsty, you definitely need to check out this series!!
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,757 reviews753 followers
September 25, 2019
Interview With the Vampire is a tough book to beat. That being said, I think I actually enjoyed this book more than Interview. And that’s saying a lot. Rice has such a beautifully poetic way of writing, it’s just so rich and you can’t help but be hypnotized by the story. I think Lestat is probably my favourite fictional vampire to date, there’s just something special about him as a character and I adore it. For me this book was utterly flawless, I loved every single word of it!
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 9 books135 followers
January 16, 2022
The Vampire Lestat is the perfect sequel (and counterpoint) to Interview with the Vampire.

It tonally gives you Lestat's take on how he is what he is and what he does. It gives reason to the frustration Louis and Claudia express during Interview. That It makes Lestat that much more interesting. And learning the depth of his power. To me, it gave me a lot more respect for Lestat, which I surmise the Incomparable Anne Rice was going for.

Right away you get the emotional vibes and nuances that to me Rice was so good at. You see it in Lestat's early mortal life, as well as how he reacts with Nicolas and then later (as a vamp his mum). The love he has for both Nicolas and his mom really come alive. It makes his

I also liked that it fleshed out the origins of the Theaters of the Vampires as well as Great world-building. Lestat gives such life to other main characters the Lestat had met along the way, including Armand. Made them, to me, so much richer. And because he seemed to have this sort of indiscernible vulnerability to , it made his verbal dances with them so much more interesting.

A topic addressed in this book is one I have on occasion I have had with my wife -- the Dark Gift -- carrying with it both a "gift" and possibly a cost of immortality. Yeah, I suppose it would get incredibly boring at some point. And it might overcome the drive to exist.

As usual, Lestat contains great imagery. Very unique story-telling structure that I found engaging because it wasn't the sort of constant progression of one event after another throughout. I know this description isn't doing the structure of Lestat much justice. But it's like the way she wrote and narrated Interview, only more amped up.

I read an online article recently where the Incomparable Anne Rice wanted these books to be literature. Not horror or adventure, but literature. I think she succeeds. If we make it 100 or 200 more years, I think these books will be studied in high schools and colleges.

It really is literature before its time. But that's just my opinion. I know some of the series isn't as popular. I haven't gotten to them all yet. No matter what, I am looking forward to at least finishing this series.
Profile Image for Cecilia.
276 reviews249 followers
January 18, 2023

Mi vampiro favorito de la vida ha sido Lestat; recuerdo estar muy feliz cuando vi que la autora había decidido redimir la historia de este personaje y entregarnos un libro lleno de reflexiones acerca del bien y el mal.

Louis no es un mal personaje, pero su sufrimiento constante respecto a los acontecimientos que sucedían a su alrededor sin conseguir tomar acción para remediarlos, me agotaba. Si bien en la primera entrega, Anne Rice nos mostraba un Lestat malvado, sarcastico, temeroso de estar solo, dependiente de otros para todo, sin educación y casi sin sentimientos, especialmente, hacia los mortales; en este libro se mantienen parte de sus rasgos de personalidad, pero hay varios que al conocerlos desde la perspectiva del personaje, ayudan a entenderlo y empatizar con él.

Lestat es un personaje impulsivo, como un adolescente, fue convertido a la corta edad de 20 años, existiendo muchos acontecimientos que no pudo transitar; a través de las páginas entendemos su vida, la relación sostenida con su padre y hermanos, la vinculación con su madre, Gabrielle, y el amor incondicional que le profesa, la cual condiciona su personalidad y comportamiento posterior. Su amor juvenil y, posterior, decepción por Nicolas: “Hay en ti una luz que resulta cegadora. En cambio, en mí sólo hay oscuridad…”

Sin embargo, también percibimos sus fortalezas; sobreponerse a las adversidades, ser perseverante, leal y con capacidad de amar y perdonar a las personas quiere, entre otras. También sus temores, siendo el principal el miedo al abandono; también el temor al estancamiento, la rutina y no ser reconocido, es decir, no poder convivir libremente con los mortales. Y que decir de sus pensamientos o cuestionamientos existenciales sumados a su sarcasmo, hacen que Lestat sea un personaje inolvidable.

“… si yo era un ser condenado, ¡que fuera el propio diablo quien viniera por mí! Que me dijera él la razón de mi condena al sufrimiento. Me gustaría conocerla, realmente.”

“… ahora sé, tanto si creo en el infierno como si no, que los vampiros pueden amarse entre ellos, que uno no deja de amar por el hecho de estar dedicado al mal.”

“Recorro el mundo al acecho con mi disfraz de mortal y soy el peor de los enemigos, el monstruo que tiene el mismo aspecto que cualquier hombre corriente.”

“Si amar a los mortales es el infierno del que hablas, ya estoy en él. He encontrado mi destino.”

A lo largo de la historia, vamos comprendiendo a personajes secundarios como Armand, su historia, el porqué de sus acciones tan egoistas y su resentimiento hacia los de su especie. Igualmente Marius, quien entrega reflexiones acerca de su vida y de su transitar cerca de los mortales; también él nos revela información respecto al posible origen de los vampiros, a través de la historia de Akasha y Enkil. Así también, nos dan a conocer algunos esbozos acerca del creador de Lestat, Magnus.

Lo único negativo, fueron las últimas páginas que me resultaron un tanto tediosas, aunque amé los reencuentros con Louis y Gabrielle.
Profile Image for Coco.
1,017 reviews419 followers
November 19, 2015
Lestat fue el primer vampiro del que me enamoré.
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
884 reviews124 followers
July 24, 2020
4 Stars

Time for another super long review that no one will read!

Things I Disliked/Things I Didn't Mind but Others Might Dislike:

- The book was long, and between the flashbacks of Armand's and Marius's lives and Lestat's kind of long-winded way of talking about everything, the story moved forward at a very slow pace sometimes, which made me impatient.

- A lot of the characters' actions and words were dramatic and/or strange to the point of being unrealistic, but somehow it just worked and never pulled me out of the story.

- The parts about Lestat kissing and wanting to ravage his mother were... odd.

Things I Liked:

- I was impressed with the way Anne Rice was able to portray the perspective of an immortal who had been around for a long time and had seen the world change. The way Lestat viewed all the changes... they were things I'd have never thought about, but, once I did think about them, they made sense.

- The characters were all so complex, like WOW.

- The writing was engrossing and sucked me in. (Thankfully Lestat didn't use the word 'plump' to describe everyone like Louis did lol.)

- It was interesting to learn some background that related to Interview, like how the Theatre des Vampires got started.

My Thoughts on the Characters (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):

- Lestat. People told me I would change my mind about Lestat once I read this book. In a way, they were right. But in a way, they were also wrong.

In reference to everything that happened in Interview, what we have here, essentially, is a case of "he said, she said." Louis has one version of the story, Lestat has another, and all we have to go on is their words.

But, if Louis was telling the truth about how Lestat treated him---and I'm inclined to believe he was, since Claudia felt the same way---nothing in this book changes the fact that Lestat was abusive toward them. (Here's where I get a little more pedantic than I normally do in reviews, but I think this is an important topic.) Lestat's past, his sadness, etc. doesn't excuse that. His love for Louis and his claims that Louis misunderstood everything don't excuse that. Even the fact that Louis did in fact misunderstand some things (like that Lestat mostly fed from evildoers) and did leave some things out (like some of their good times together) doesn't excuse that. Because guess what? Someone can be a good person in some ways, do nice things, etc. but still be abusive. I can't even blame Louis for leaving out the good times they had because people do seem to have this belief that if someone does nice things sometimes, if the abuser and victim ever have fun together, if the abuser and victim love each other, then it means the abuser can't possibly be abusive in any way; so no one would have believed Louis had he mentioned the good times. And, quite frankly, when Lestat was talking about how great his relationship with Louis was, well, people who are emotionally abusive and manipulative often do say things just like that. There are plenty of abusive people in the world who refuse to see or admit even to themselves that their behavior is abuse and who believe their relationship with the victim is caring and supportive even when it's not. Just as Louis's narrative was biased in some ways, so was Lestat's. For example, he stated that he hid his powers from Louis because Louis couldn't handle it, but that's just proof that he was keeping secrets and making decisions about what was best for Louis instead of letting Louis make those decisions himself. And let's not forget, Lestat left things out of his version too, like how there was SO MUCH he could've told them about their kind without having to get into personal stuff and without breaking his promise to Marius. And how he taunted Louis and said mean things to him (and to Claudia). He himself even said that he's selfish---and he is---so there was nothing in this book that makes me think that Louis actually lied in his story.

TL;DR: Will we ever know the true, unbiased tale of exactly what happened between Louis and Lestat? Probably not. Do I believe Louis did have some good times with Lestat, that he had some feelings for Lestat, that he too was afraid of being alone and wanted the companionship they had? Yes, but I already said that in my review of Interview. Do I believe Lestat has good qualities and did some good things with Louis? Absolutely. But do I believe any of that makes his abusive behavior toward Louis and Claudia any less abusive? No.

I will concede, however, that Louis's version of what happened in Paris was all wrong. Of course, that's Armand's fault for purposely setting everything up to appear that way to Louis. It made me feel for awful for Lestat though when I realized that he didn't mean to get Claudia killed, didn't even know they were in Paris, and that he was treated just as badly by Armand.

What I find sad about the whole thing though is that it seems like Lestat and Louis could have had a great relationship if only Lestat had treated him a little better. Lestat is someone who seems to like to think and learn too, who appreciates beauty in things, who loves mortals, and still has a lot of love and humanity left in him. Despite their issues, I kind of ship Louis and Lestat and would've liked to know more about the close/good parts of their relationship. But by the end of this book, they seemed to understand each other better, so maybe things will at least be better between them from now on.

Anyway, despite Lestat's negative traits (or maybe because of them), I still feel that he's a fantastically complex character and one that I found myself feeling for. So the people who said I'd change my mind were right in that I do see him in a completely different light now. And there's just something about him. You can't not be drawn to him. I mean, the man wakes up after who know how many years literally underground, and within days he's decked out in leather and riding a motorcycle around New Orleans. Despite being dead, he's so full of life and vitality. He's so emotional and dramatic about everything. He feels so deeply. Apparently he was like that even as a human. And I did feel bad for him at times; even if he did bring some of his problems onto himself with his impulsiveness, rebelliousness, and selfishness, he didn't deserve all the bad things that happened to him.

- Armand. So... Armand is awful. But also very complex. I feel like he never actually cares for any of the vampires he keeps company with, not even the ones he takes as companions. I mean, he manipulated Louis to turn someone else into a vampire (which destroyed Louis emotionally), and he killed Claudia (which further destroyed Louis) so that he could have Louis to himself. He also let Louis kill the other vampires in his coven, and he himself killed most of the vampires in his previous coven. And even after everything Lestat did for him, when Lestat needed help, Armand just used him, forced him to rat out Claudia because it served his (Armand's) own purposes, then pushed him off a building. I don't think he even understands what love is. He jumps around from vampire to vampire, telling them he loves them within like five minutes of meeting them, but it's never actually love. Maybe that's because the first "love" he ever felt sounded to me more like Stockholm Syndrome after being taken and sold as a kid. (I don't mean to imply that Marius treated him badly; in fact, Marius was the first to treat him well, but he did still essentially own Armand.) And as he said himself, because he was taken as a child, he never had a normal human life, which was why he didn't even know how to exist among mortals.

- Nicolas. I think Nicolas was the one I felt the worst for. Imagine things from his perspective: giving up everything and being disowned by your family to run away to a new city with your lover; seeing your lover being kidnapped and hearing him shout for you as he's pulled through a window; worrying that your lover has been killed or something awful has happened to him; all the sudden being showered with gifts from your lover but still with no explanation or visit from him only for him to one day show up at the theatre where you work, put on some grand supernatural display, and then run off again, still with no explanation to you. Then, to top it all off, he was kidnapped and nearly drained by a bunch of vampires in an underground crypt, turned into a vampire himself, and had his hands---his most important body parts as a violinist---cut off. Nevermind that they were reattached, it would still be awful. No wonder the poor guy went mad. No wonder he hated Lestat. No wonder he decided to go into the fire. I liked Nicolas, and I shipped Nicostat, so that whole storyline was very tragic.

- Gabrielle. She's not my favorite. Gabrielle's not terrible, but she's cold, and I can't understand her desire to spend her life away from all civilization.

- Marius. He seems like a kind and understanding person, but I need to learn more about him before I can really form an opinion.

My Thoughts on Other Things (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):

- I loved the scene when Lestat and Gabrielle rose in the church. You had these two powerful, deadly vampires, and they put on this whole theatrical show to terrify everyone in the church, but the only reason they did that---what the terrified people in the church would never have guessed---was because they themselves were terrified. The humor of their theatrics plus the kind of irony of them being just as terrified made that scene stand out in my mind.

- I'm gonna let my freak flag fly for a moment and say that I still remember the first time I read the scene when Lestat and Akasha drink from each other at the same time, and, at that time, I swear it was the most erotic thing I had ever read. To this day, I still love reading about two paranormal creatures drinking blood from each other at the same time.

- The ending got so intense when vampires started going up in flames and everything. I loved it. But I also loved that Louis was back and even that Gabrielle was back.

Overall Thoughts:

This review is long enough already, I'll just say that I liked it, and the complexity of the characters has yet again given me a lot to think about!

*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*

Reread Ratings:
No Rating (1st Read – mid/late 2000s)
4 Stars (2nd Read – 2017)

Recommended For:
Fans of Book 1 in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Anyone who likes beautiful yet deadly vampires, descriptive writing, and amazingly complex characters.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Stepheny.
381 reviews541 followers
April 20, 2017


The second installment of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles switches perspective. The story is now being narrated by the one and only Lestat de Lioncourt. He is outraged by Louis’ tale and feels the need to defend himself. He decides to write a book detailing his long life as a vampire.

Lestat runs away with his lover when he is a young man. The two men run away to France where they drink wine and cry over the beauty of music and art. They’re of course madly in love and enjoy nothing more than the company of one another. One night Lestat is kidnapped and turned into a vampire by Magnus. However, Magnus does not stick around to show him the ways of the world. Instead Magnus kills himself with help from Lestat and leaves Lestat a fortune. Lestat, not wanting to upset his loved ones decides to flee and leave them completely. But he uses his new-found wealth to shower them with gifts from afar.

Later on down the line, Lestat’s beloved mother Gabrielle comes to him in Paris tells him that she is dying. He decides to give her the dark gift so that they can spend all of eternity together. He has what I would call an unnatural attachment to his mother. Norman Bates, anyone? At one point I was wondering if the two were going to have sex and I’m still not wholly convinced that they didn’t. I’m not sure how becoming a vampire affects your relation but I’m pretty sure she is still his mother and it’s weird.

After Armand meets Lestat he shows him how they were made. He tells him the tale of Those Who Must Be Kept. These are the two alpha-dogs; the two original vampires. While they do not need to be approached, they do need to be respected and protected. Armand tells Lestat to leave them alone while he runs out on an errand, and Lestat of course does not.

Here’s the thing. Lestat is a shithead. He is so self-absorbed he can’t be bothered with thoughts of how his actions may impact others. He’s like a teenage girl. He’s emotional, quick to anger and feels entitled to everything. He thinks he is above everyone he encounters. He views himself as untouchable. He has all the arrogance of new money.

Listening to Lestat explain his side of the story about what transpired between Louis and him was quite comical. I don’t believe his side of the story at all. Lestat is more likely to try to convince you of his innocence while scoffing in his head at how pathetically gullible you are. Whereas Louis, I do believe. He was a whiny little bitch, but he would have no reason to lie.

Listening to how the vampires were made and meeting great characters like Armand and Marius was fantastic. Even though Lestat is a repulsive character his tales are much more intriguing than Louis’ ever was. This one leaves you with quite the cliffhanger ending and I was glad I didn’t have to wait to begin the next. Once again- Simon Vance narrates and absolutely rocks the audio version!
Profile Image for Juho Pohjalainen.
Author 5 books252 followers
June 16, 2021
I wanted to see more vampire rocking.

The book started out promisingly enough, grabbed me in pretty well and good, and ended on a high note - but in between it sinks all too deep into the mire of melodrama, weird actions and confusing motivations, purple prose, and a whole lot of time wasted. I could never quite adjust myself to the right wavelength to figure out what's going on and to properly enjoy it, which is likely more my fault than it is the book's. If you can figure it out, you'll get more out of it than I did.
Profile Image for Melody Sams.
63 reviews30 followers
November 22, 2018
It’s been nearly ten years since I first read this novel and I still find Lestat just as fierce and fascinating as ever! It’s of my opinion that he’s one of the most charismatic and contradictory characters ever created in literature.
Profile Image for Olivier Delaye.
Author 2 books212 followers
December 12, 2021
This is my fourth reread (in 15 or so years, mind you) of The Vampire Lestat and honestly it gets better every time. It's just incredible how well this book ages; like, it doesn't feel passé at all and is still very much up to date, even though it was written nearly 30 years ago! The prose is absolutely gorgeous, the story is downright engrossing and, history-wise, very well researched. Really, gothic literature doesn't get any better than this. That said, let me add a caveat here: if long and detailed descriptions and somewhat rambling pseudo-philosophical/religious dialogues and inner dialogues are not your cup of tea, then perhaps this book is not for you. Cuz, yeah, Anne Rice can be quite a bit of a rambler at times, you know. You've been warned, mortals!
Profile Image for Monica.
Author 4 books267 followers
August 22, 2017
Lestat es y será uno de mis personajes más queridos y entrañables para toda la vida.

Conocer su historia, desde sus inicios, con todo el dolor, sufrimiento y otras emociones de esa manera tan particular en la que solo él puede hacerlo.
Nos perdemos en la Europa antigua plagada de aristócratas, leyendas, vino y encajes, de su mano conocemos los orígienes de otros emblemáticos compañeros que entre todos conforman las crónicas vampiresas.
Profile Image for Michelle.
14 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2012
TL;DR - it's worth reading if you enjoy the franchise, the characters, and are willing to self-edit (that is, skip the repetitive expositions).

Although I read this book when it was first published, and reread it a time or two in the intervening decades, most recently I "read" this book as an audio book, which is an interesting test for a book. The book is in the first person, so listening to it heightens the effect of Lestat telling you his story; however, I hadn't realized how much of the pontificating I usually skipped over when rereading the book in print. At times during the narration I wanted to stop Lestat and tell him, "I get it--you've made your point. Move along, please." I had forgotten the endless exposition about the nature of good and evil and spirituality, and I had forgotten how much Lestat verges on being a "Mary Sue" (an overly idealized character). His flaws are extensive, some of which even acknowledged in faux-self-deprecation, but somehow everyone loves him despite these flaws, and forgives him the most outrageous transgressions, which always end up benefitting him.

The character of Gabrielle has always been more interesting to me than Lestat. Where his extreme extraversion annoys me, her uncompromising introversion attracts. Where Lestat's transformation to vampire leads him to endless ruminations about the need to love humans and humanity, his dependence on and need of them, the utter lack of meaning in a life without the love of humans, Gabrielle uses her transformation to free her at last from the demands and needs of others. She sticks around for a few transitional decades to try to wean her son into adult independence, but ultimately puts her own selfhood first.

Detaching to look at the structure of the book, the tale within a tale is carried too far, and by the time Lestat meets up with Marius, I was snorting as I counted the layers, as we have Lestat, who tells us the tale of himself listening to Marius, as Marius relates the tale of Marius listening to the tale of the Egyptian priest, who relates the story of Those Who Must Be Kept. There may have been another layer in there, but who can keep track? While the individual embedded stories were interesting, they also felt like a massive info dump, to give us the necessary background to appreciate the amazing specialness of Lestat, when he is the one to whom the Queen (silent and unmoving for centuries) responds.

If you're going to read this book for the first time, make sure you have the next book "Queen of the Damned" ready, as "The Vampire Lestat" ends in a cliffhanger.

Profile Image for Jaidee.
580 reviews1,107 followers
September 9, 2018
3.5 stars !

The vampire lestat is like lavender candy floss.

addictive and a tad too sugary
too little....you want to grab another sticky handful
too much....a belly ache and tooth decay

beautiful to look at but melts to something hard when saliva is added

very enjoyable but need time away or it may lead to self-combustion

next year will start volume 3
Profile Image for Peter.
Author 12 books307 followers
December 16, 2015
This was the Audible audio book, unabridged, read by Simon Vance. Who gives a really good performance, I love his vampire voice!

Lestat de Lion court rises from his long hibernation in 1980 and decides to become a rockstar. He puts out an album and to accompany this he writes his autobiography - revealing the story of his youth as well as the history of the race of vampires, which started 4000 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Some gleaned facts: Anne Rice loves the words: 'preternatural' and 'savage garden'. This is the band Savage Garden's favourite book (I imagine).

Although it has a lot of similar themes, I did not enjoy this book as much as "Interview with a Vampire" for a number of reasons. I think because the plot is much more meandering and fragmented. It takes in four narrators - Lestat, Armand, Marius and another narrator in Ancient Egypt - and a lot of different geographic and cultural settings which I don't think Anne Rice captures quite as well as she does New Orleans or Paris.

Some Spoilers...

Rice has softened and rounded Lestat to make him more likeable compared to the evil, mysterious enigma of Interview. As a narrator he is a totally believable character (this is Rice's main strength) though I do not think his obsessions are as interesting as Louis'. He is a bit too confident and self assured. Gabrielle too was similar to Claudia, but again not quite as interesting, her concern that she will never change is represented by the fact she can never cut her hair, a brilliant weird sequence, but not nearly as strong as the stories spun around Claudia - the little girl who never grows old. Nicky, the other main character, was an entirely tedious and forgettable cypher.

In terms of the story I loved the opening and the end and a lot of the sequences in Paris, but a lot of the stuff in Ancient Egypt - the history of the vampires etc – I found rather boring. I hated the development that now all the vampires can read minds, it just meant the prose drifted off into even more internal stuff than before. I hated that there was no big deaths - like in Interview. Nicky is the only character who dies and this isn't even 'onscreen' Lestat is informed of it in a letter, this is such a throwaway of good drama I can only assume that it was a lie and done so he can show up again sometime. Also, Lestat and Gabrielle miss the French Revolution because they are basically on holiday in Egypt, talk about throwing away more great dramatic opportunity. Anyway, if Queen of the Damned is set in the modern day I probably will end up reading it as, from the ending of this one, that seemed an interesting premise.

Profile Image for RJ - Slayer of Trolls.
764 reviews179 followers
April 27, 2020
The sequel to Interview with the Vampire focuses on Lestat, probably the most interesting character in the prior book and the central character in many, many more books to come. The story is fascinating when it intertwines with various historical events and places and times, but much less readable during long exasperating periods of existential fretting and romantic yearning. Rice's gothic prose is beautiful at times, overwhelming at others, best in small doses.
October 25, 2015
Phew!!! Spent most of yesterday and some of today finishing this book. Very seductive read indeed, I do like how the author writes but from time to time I felt my concentration slipping because she goes on just that little bit more than is needed sometimes.
Profile Image for Bart.
Author 1 book104 followers
May 23, 2008
A happy surprise indeed. Perhaps it was a result of low expectations or a prior experience with the movie "Interview with the Vampire" that had me so unprepared to enjoy this novel.

The Vampire Lestat is a great read. It may not have all the literary quality of, say, Cormac McCarthy's equally gruesome accounts, but it is more enjoyable on its first reading.

What makes authors great, of course, is how their works hold up on revisits. Knowing the plotting and the conclusion of Anne Rice's novel, I'm unlikely to go back to it. But let that dissuade no one from giving this novel a first reading.

If there are shortcomings in this book, they derive from Rice's tries at ontological philosophy. She's brave to consider questions of immortality, of course, but probably not as wise to record her thoughts. In the first third, she tries to tackle immortality - and how it relates, ultimately, to good and evil - but she sort of loses her way. She has her characters who, for being inexperienced at being immortal, haven't the depth for it, making soliloquies about its consequences.

Later on, though, when she comes to characters that are millennia old, she knows better and concedes the impenetrability of their plight. And along the way, she also kills off about 100 "immortals". This also seems to suggest that maybe all those pages of contemplating immortality should have remained behind in the novel's first draft.

Otherwise, the book is a joy to read. It's lively and well written. For the most part, Rice moves the book at the right pace and proves, once more, that descriptive writing works great when it enhances the plot. Too many inexperienced writers seem to mistake descriptive writing for the plot. All such readers would be encouraged to review the last 15 pages of The Vampire Lestat; after 600 pages, Rice knows when to go full bore into description and make her novel's conclusion memorable.
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1,516 reviews11k followers
June 23, 2010
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Anne Rice's re-imagining of the "vampire" mythos is excellent and Lestat is on my list of "All Time Favorite" characters. As good as this novel is, the books that follow:The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief and Memnoch the Devil are even better. Highly Recommended?

Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1986)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1986)
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